The Oregon Department of Education, which as recently as last week was telling virtual charter schools they needed to close, is now telling all schools in the state to prepare for various ways to teach children at home.

The about-face comes as the the department concedes a "strong possibility" that kids will have to remain at home for the remainder of the school year.

"We now have a moral imperative to meet the changing nature of the pandemic and evolve our approach to serving our children," writes Colt Gill, director of ODE and deputy superintendent of public instruction.

“As we continue the effective measures of Gov. Brown’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ order,” Gill continues, “we also foresee the strong possibility that our students may not come back through our schoolhouse doors this academic year. This calls for a shift from providing supplementary education to a formidable effort to provide Distance Learning for All.” (The emphasis is his.)

Last week, WW reported that virtual charter schools had been instructed to close and provide "supplemental education," like other schools.

That caused concern among charter school operators that they were not going to be allowed to continue to offer their regular coursework even as their model of education was suited to the current stay-home order.